Swedish hard rock veterans EUROPE have entered Atlantis Studios in Stockholm with producer Klas Åhlund (GHOST, ROBYN) to begin working on a new song titled "Hold Your Head Up". The track, which is described by the band as "a punchy uptempo rocker with reminiscent elements of early EUROPE," will be released as a single on September 15. "Hold Your Head Up" will be mixed by Stefan Glaumann (RAMMSTEIN, DEF LEPPARD),who also mixed EUROPE's "Secret Society" album, and will serve as a precursor to EUROPE's twelfth studio album, to be recorded in 2024 and released in late 2024 or early 2025.
In other news, EUROPE is putting the finishing touches on a brand new documentary film with producer/director Craig Hooper (DEEP PURPLE, SAXON) for Coolhead Productions with the working title "Europe - The Movie". The film will tell the story of the band, from formation until present day, including EUROPE's rise to success in the mid-1980s through hard times and heartache to coming back in the millennium and the current successes the group has achieved. An early 2024 release is expected.
In a recent interview with Mark Jeeves of Planet Rock's "My Planet Rocks", EUROPE singer Joey Tempest spoke about the band's plans to work on the long-awaited follow-up to 2017's "Walk The Earth" album. He said: "We're becoming interested and inspired again now. It's taken a while.
"This period with the world made me go back to the roots and write a lot again," he continued. "So I have loads and loads of ideas, but not necessarily all of 'em for EUROPE. So it's been very creative, but it sort of a few gigs last year for us to start — because we're friends from teenage years — but we started connecting again. And we started sending stuff to each other, and we have a few really good ideas now. And that's always great.
"I remember when we did 'Out Of This World' after 'The Final Countdown', and I managed to come up with 'Superstitious'. And I [was, like], 'Thank goodness.' You need something to kick things off, and I think we have one of those tracks brewing. So it's always nice to get going with something really cool."
Tempest also talked about the fact that EUROPE is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its self-titled debut album this year.
"It feels impossible — with the same guys around, actually," he said. "We met when we were teenagers. I saw [guitarist] John Norum play — he was 14; I was 15 — and I thought, 'It would be great to start a band with him.' And here we are. It's incredible. Eleven albums. I wouldn't say that's loads of albums, but it's still fairly okay. We've done six albums since we started again and five in the first era. So we're kind of proud. And we get on now. The egos are sort of put aside and we sort of feel lucky that we have this job. So doing this tour this year, the 40th-anniversary tour, it's a pleasure. And we can dig even deeper; we can play some tracks we haven't played. So it could be fun as well."
Back in July 2019, Tempest told Finland's Kaaos TV that he and his bandmates don't "write so much on the road". He explained: "We've never been like that. We're a soundcheck band as well. So we always soundcheck. We soundcheck whenever we can. Festivals is more difficult, as you know. But it's possible sometimes — you can go in the morning and do it.
"What happens to us is usually we write for six months when the touring has come to an end on an album," he continued. "So it takes us about four to six months to write, to get everything together, get 75 to 80 percent ready, music and lyrics. Then we go into the studio and then we work fast — record everything live in two weeks. This is how we've done it on 'Bag Of Bones' , 'War Of Kings'  and 'Walk The Earth'. The last three EUROPE albums were recorded fast, because those fast decisions are amazing in the studio — everybody's there; everybody's on fire. That's how those great albums were made in the '70s — on the spot, when that glow and that fire is there."
While stressing the importance of improvisation in the studio, Tempest said that "you should be prepared. You don't wanna waste time in the studio and waste anybody's time. So if you're 75 percent ready, the last bit the producer can help out with or the circumstances, or whatever happens happens in the studio. But we've been so lucky working with Dave Cobb — a great musician and producer and a great guy to just hang with. He's now part of the band. Like he works with RIVAL SONS, he also works with us. He's part of the band when we're in the studio with him. He writes with us. He comes up with great ideas. He sits and plays the songs with us in a circle in the studio before we record it, and then we just slam it down live, three or four takes, and pick the best takes to work on and to finish up. And the nerve is there, the decisions were made right there, and that's how you make great rock records."
"Walk The Earth" was released in October 2017 via Hell & Back Recordings (Silver Lining Music). It was recorded at famed Abbey Road Studios in London with the aforementioned Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb (RIVAL SONS, Shooter Jennings, Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton).
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We are currently in Atlantis Studios in Stockholm with...
Posted by Europe on Monday, July 17, 2023